Sunday, April 22, 2018

Glendale Survive Early Scare, Beat Austin

The clear favorites to win the Major League Rugby championship heading into the season were the Glendale Raptors. They had the group that has been together the longest, delivered success in multiple competitions, and is loaded with Eagles. Despite an early deficit against the Austin Elite the Raptors did nothing to shed their favorite status with a 41-26 win over the Austin Elite. Glendale will now head in to what could be their toughest match of the season in Seattle next Saturday. For Austin they maybe forced some to reconsider their pre-season prognostications with a better than expected performance.

Reece Czarnecki scored the first try in Austin history thanks to a strong team effort. From a scrum the ball popped out the back where Roland Suniula made the initial break before finding Czarnecki for the finish. Like that Austin had momentum on the road just 13 minutes in. However, Glendale are not a team to go away easily and soon they began to chip into the lead. First with a penalty from Will Magie and then a try by Connor Cook. Austin had a penalty attempt in between the Magie kick and the try but it was unsuccessful. 

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Soon Glendale began to impose their will on the match in multiple ways. Defensively they clamped down on what Austin was doing and they slowly began to find their rhythm on offense. It all soon paid off with a John Quill try  followed by a Ben Landry score to give the Raptors a 24-7 lead at halftime. It would only continue in the second half with Max De Achaval and Harley Davidson scoring within the first ten minutes of the second half. 

Even though they were cruising there were plenty of things to improve for the Raptors. Ben Landry cost his team with a body slam on Hanco Germishuys that resulted in a red card. The Ealing signing for next year could find himself in more hot water and more weeks on the bench depending on a potential ruling. 

Now with a man advantage Austin were able to work their way back into the match with a couple of tries. The first came from Hanco Germishuys and might have been the try of the round. The second came from Ben Mitchell. 
The ill-discipline continued for the Raptors with Connor Cook being shown a red card to join Landry. Despite that they still matched another penalty from Will Magie to extend the lead. Austin had one last try from Czarnecki.

Next week the Raptors travel to Seattle while Austin 


Penalties: Magie (2)
Conversions: Magie (5)
Tries: Cook, Quill, Landry, De Achaval, Davidson


Conversions: Guillimin (3)
Tries: Czarnecki (2), Germishuys, Mitchell

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